Noon is a micro-winery producing the superb Reserve Shiraz, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Eclipse Grenache Shiraz and the knockout Solaire Grenache.
Drew Noon returned to his childhood home and family property in 1996 to take over the reigns of winemaking. The small 10 acre vineyard was entirely planted to Grenache in 1934 and 1945 on chocolatey sandy loams over red clay. Fruit is also sourced from Langhorne Creek from mature vineyards planted in the early 1960s and 1970s. The overall production is minuscule. Roseworthy-trained, Drew Noon was the Victorian State Oenologist before a winemaking stint in New South Wales. He is also one of Australia’s few Masters of Wine. He and his wife Rae (who designed all the labels and works as assistant winemaker) have quickly taken the winery from fringe dweller to the centre of winemaking refinement and magic. With incredibly limited financial resources, he has managed to show the superiority of his vineyard sites.
The grapes are vinified in open fermenters and hand plunged to maximise extraction of colour and flavour, the Cabernet Sauvignon given some extended maceration. The wines are matured for 18 months in a combination of new (25-50%) and used American oak, all supplied to Noon winery by the same cooper, Schahinger, for 30 years. These wines speak with volumes of fruit and perfume and have captured the imagination of the local and American market. Noon is under an enormous amount of pressure to raise his prices, currently locked in at apparently well below their real value. With Torbreck and Chris Ringland/Three Rivers attracting huge values for similar quality wines, it is a conundrum for Noon. He doesn’t wish to disenfranchise his loyal band of followers and there is absolutely no intention to raise prices on the back of powerful endorsements.
Yet, a pronouncement by Robert Parker Jr. that, “Life is too short not to be drinking the wine” of Drew Noon, is just a red rag to a bull. The result will be that the consumer will take advantage rather than the winemaker, illustrating how contemptible speculative markets can be. The Reserve Shiraz, from Langhorne Creek, is a superlative wine. It has incredible vibrancy and richness together with muscular fine loose-knit tannins. The wine has much in common with Wendouree, particularly tannins structure, except that it is generally much higher in alcohol and richness.